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Jorge, Jeramie, and Amber

Portrait collage of the section leadership

Jorge Ramos (Chair), Associate Director for Environmental Education, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Stanford University

Jorge Ramos has been a member of ESA since 2004, starting as an undergraduate SEEDS student. He is originally from Juarez, Mexico. He moved to the USA where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree at The University of Texas at El Paso, a Master of Science degree at the University of Washington, Seattle, and a PhD at Arizona State University, all in the fields of environmental science and ecology. After completing his PhD, Jorge worked at Conservation International in Washington DC, where he helped develop, implement, and manage coastal community conservation projects worldwide. In his new role at Stanford University, Jorge co-teaches the course Ecology and Natural History of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve and is in charge of the education and outreach programs of Stanford’s biggest outdoor classroom, an 1100-acre preserve. He takes advantage of the diverse ecosystems and the preserve’s rich human history to teach ecology in the field to students, community members, and hundred of GK-12 students from the region. Jorge is also a volunteer, advisor, and mentor for scientific organizations that support traditionally underrepresented minorities in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields such as SACNAS, and SEEDS. More information see his website

Jeramie Strickland (Vice-Chair), Manager of Education and Community Outreach at Openlands

Jeramie Strickand joined the ESA family back in 2004 while working in the Education office with the SEEDS Diversity Program. Currently, Jeramie is the Manager of Education and Community Outreach at Openlands. Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich our lives. He is responsible for managing education and outreach projects that are associated with Openlands community conservation programs. Prior to joining the Openlands family, he served as a Wildlife Biologist for 10 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a National Wildlife Refuge. Jeramie is passionate about developing programs that engage communities from diverse backgrounds to help them appreciate green spaces, nature, and conservation. Jeramie is originally from Chicago and is thrilled to be back home to serve his community. Jeramie is excited about the opportunity to serve as the Vice-Chair of the ESA Environmental Justice Section so that he can partner with communities and organizations to address critical environmental issues, and to learn how ecologists can better support community efforts toward environmental justice. More information see his website

Amber Finlay (Secretary), Director of Research and Development and Science Faculty at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College

Amber is the Director of Research and Development and Science Faculty at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College. Amber graduated from Fort Berthold Community College in 2001 with two Associate degrees; one in Science and the other in Liberal Arts. Amber then transferred to the University of North Dakota and graduated in 2006 with a Baccalaureate of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology. Amber went on to earn her Master of Science in Environmental Management in 2008 from the University of San Francisco. Amber returned to Grand Forks in 2008 and along with some other members of the Native American community, explored avenues for cultural awareness, development, and expression. In 2010 the group formally organized Northstar Council, a state-recognized nonprofit with the express mission of empowering indigenous people through research, education, and outreach. Northstar’s vision is to create a Native American Cultural Center that serves the Greater Grand Forks Area. Current work has focused on developing cultural awareness through classes and workshops, offering traditional spiritual service (i.e. sweatlodge, smudging, ceremony), teaching traditional arts and crafts, integrating traditional knowledge into the Grand Forks Public School system, offering mentoring and leadership training to young Native Americans, and producing quality cultural events for the community. Amber serves as the Executive Director of Northstar Council. More information see her website

Charlie Nilon (Past-Chair)
University of Missouri, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
I’m a wildlife ecologist and my research focuses on urban wildlife ecology and management, and the human dimensions of urban wildlife conservation. I’m a professor at the University of Missouri. My students and I have done research in places ranging in location and degree of development from inner city neighborhoods in St. Louis, Chicago, and New York City to the more suburban and rapidly urbanizing areas in and around Columbia, Missouri. Since 1997 I’ve been a co-investigator on the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. The project in Baltimore and a similar one in Phoenix are the first two urban ecosystems included in the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research program. Because urban areas are homes for people as well as wildlife, we also study the role of nature as part of an individual’s day-to-day environment, and environmental justice issues associated with access to nature. Recently I have collaborated with colleagues from the MU School of Medicine on a project studying the kinds of open spaces where children are active. I’ve been active in EJ activities within ESA for 13 years and have helped to organize symposia, workshops, and field trips. I look forward to serving the EJ section.



hitzhusen-newGreg Hitzhusen
Ohio State University, School of Environment and Natural Resources
My work and research center on the intersection of faith and the environment and on developing partnerships between scientific and faith communities.  My teaching focuses on environmental communications, sustainability projects, and religion and ecology. I am a Lecturer in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University, where I am a member of the Faculty Learning Community on Sustainability Across the Curriculum and serve as Faculty Fellow for the Environment and Natural Resources Scholars program.  My students’ research projects on sustainability at Ohio State have helped to establish OSU’s Campus as a Living Laboratory project and digital archive. I was the founding Director and now serve as Board Chair for Ohio Interfaith Power and Light; I am Vice-Chair Elect of the Environmental Justice Section, where I coordinate partnerships with faith communities, including the Scientists Speakers Bureau for Earth Stewardship Outreach to Faith Communities.

Rick Hammer ImageRick Hammer
Hardin-Simmons University, Holland School of Sciences & Mathematics
Home Page
Dr. Hammer earned a Ph.D. in Botany in the Interdisciplinary Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Texas A&M University. At Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) he regularly teaches general botany, general ecology, tropical ecology of Costa Rica, and environmental ethics. He is faculty advisor for the Environmental Service Club, a student-led group at HSU that focuses on creation care educational outreach and service projects. Rick is a master educator in the Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics program (LNT). The LNT Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, and is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands. Rick is an active adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and serves as the Outdoor Ethics Advocate for his 17-county Boy Scout area council and has taught Leave No Trace courses for BSA. Rick lives with his wife and son in Abilene, TX.

Jablonski-newLeanne Jablonski
Marianist Environmental Education Center & University of Dayton
I’m an ecologist, educator and pastoral minister in Dayton Ohio where I direct the Marianist Environmental Education CenterMEEC stewards the 100-acre Mount St. John nature preserve and partners with environmental, governmental and faith organizations in our mission of “Restoring communities of Land and People” through ecological restoration, service learning and education. I am also a part-time faculty at the University of Dayton on the Sustainability, Energy, Environment initiative staff and teach courses in Ecology & Religion. My Doctoral studies in Plant Physiological Ecology/Global Climate Change at McGill focused on plant reproductive responses to elevated CO2 and Nitrogen, and as an Ohio State post-Doc I conducted meta-analysis on seed quality responses. I am the Past-Chair of the Environmental Justice Section.

Tiffany Carey
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Home page
Research and education interests: Environmental law/policy, environmental justice, urban ecology, citizen science, campus sustainability, educational outreaches in the urban context

Gregory-MeganMegan M. Gregory
Cornell University, Department of Horticulture
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I work with community gardeners to develop ecologically-based management practices for urban agriculture and inquiry-based educational opportunities for urban gardeners. My current projects include research on: 1) Cover cropping practices to improve soil quality and fertility in urban gardens; 2) Effective design of participatory research projects for educational, environmental, and social benefits in community gardens; and 3) Effects of garden land-use, management, and landscape context on pest and beneficial insect populations and crop damage in urban gardens.

Middendorf and lizard-1000pxGeorge Middendorf
Howard University, Department of Biology
Home page
Most of my research focuses on the behavioral ecology of lizards in the southwestern US, but I have also conducted field studies in Panama on intertidal crustaceans; in Peru where I participated in a Smithsonian MAB-sponsored field course in Pakitza; in Bolivia where I both participated in a field course and conducted studies of herps of the Beni region; and most recently in Suriname where I have examined lizard biodiversity in the Central Suriname Nature Reserve. At Howard University, I teach animal behavior, ecology, herpetology, and a number of interdisciplinary courses including Science & Public Policy, Hurricane Katrina, and Biological and Social Aspects of Food. In addition, I hold an adjunct professorship at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname where I spent a sabbatical year in the Environmental Sciences Program and later held a Fulbright Senior Specialist Fellowship. I am Past-Chair of the Environmental Justice Section.

Jessica Miesel
Michigan State University, Department of Forestry
Home Page
Profile coming soon…

Chris Jensen imageChris Jensen
Pratt Institute, Department of Mathematics & Science
Home page
I teach ecology and evolution courses to students at Pratt Institute, most of whom are art and design majors. I serve as the “Website Facilitator” for the ESA Environmental Justice section, helping members to represent the section on the site. While I am not currently engaged in research related to environmental justice, the topic is infused throughout many of my ecology courses.